Ruston-Pt. Defiance celebrates art and community

15 Dec
Back row: John Truman (RPDBD President 2014-15), Karen Truman (Treasurer of Tacoma Neighborhoods Together), Tammi Herridge (property owner & proprietor of Antique Sandwich Co.) From row: Beth Torbet (RPDBD Past President 2010-14), Lily Weddermann , Jennifer Weddermann (artist), Juel Lugo (LILT, Project Manager)

Back row: John Trueman (RPDBD President 2014-15), Karen Trueman (Treasurer of Tacoma Neighborhoods Together), Tamie Herridge (property owner & proprietor of Antique Sandwich Co.) From row: Beth Torbet (RPDBD Past President 2010-14), Lily Weddermann , Jennifer Weddermann (artist), Juel Lugo (LILT, Project Manager)

Art plays such a powerful role in the vitality of a community. It was illustrated again last Saturday morning as the Ruston-Pt. Defiance Business District dedicated their new art installation, a series of four sculptural benches, funded in part by the Tacoma Arts Commission. Gathered were members of the Ruston-Pt. Defiance Business community and artist Jennifer Weddermann, joyfully celebrating the latest colorful addition of public art – sculpture in the form of benches.

You'll find one of the four benches outside of the Antique Sandwich Co. at N. 51st and Pearl.

You’ll find one of the four benches outside of the Antique Sandwich Co. at N. 51st and Pearl.

The benches, hand-crafted by local artist Jennifer Weddermann, are made of steel and have aquatic and octopus imagery along with gears and mechanical elements that represent the district’s strong manufacturing history. Two of the sculptural benches have additional functional elements – one has a bike rack while the other hinges to allow users to sit facing two directions.

This wasn’t the first time the arts have helped the ‘North Pearl Business District.’ Unsolicited appreciations were shared about other funded art projects and programs in the district. A large mural on the wall of the Antique Sandwich Company was one. The impact of Spaceworks was another.

“This district has had a 50% occupancy rate. Spaceworks is great, bringing in more interest, adding vitality and potential new tenants,” said community activist John Truman.

This is great grass roots economic development in our neighborhoods, affecting small businesses and supporting local artists.

The Tacoma Arts Commission is proud to have supported the bench project through Arts Projects funding.

All photos used with permission from Dane Gregory Meyer. Copyright Dane Gregory Meyer.

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Dane Gregory Meyer PhotographyDane Gregory Meyer has been a professional photographer for over 25 years and owns Dane Gregory Meyer Photography. He has served on the Tacoma Arts Commission since 2009 in a desire to give back to the community and support the arts as an economic engine and core for Tacoma.

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